Category Archives: Summer Fun Crafts

Fun Times In Your Garden: What To Do To Ensure Your Yard Is Safe For Your Little One

One of the best places where you can create memories with your child is the garden. After all, there are lots of fun opportunities for them in the yard. And with all the space, it offers a great way for them to burn off some energy. But like everywhere in the home, you need to think about safety. After all, so many children are taken to hospital every year from accidents in their backyard! Therefore, here are some things every mom needs to do to ensure their yard is safe for their little one so fun times can commence in the garden!

Make sure you invest in a sturdy fence

When your little one is running around the garden, they might easily knock into the fence. And if it’s not sturdy, it could end up falling over causing damage in your yard. And it could even hurt your little one if it lands on them. Therefore, you need to make sure you have a sturdy fence which will stay standing while your kid is around. And you need to ensure it’s a good height. After all, you don’t want your little one climbing over the top of the fence into the neighbor’s garden!

Get a lock for the water spigot and make sure it’s working correctly

It’s always handy to have an outdoor water faucet in the garden. After all, it saves you having to rush inside to get water. Therefore, it can be good when you and your child are having a day taking care of the plants. But you need to be careful that it doesn’t become a danger for your kid. After all, you don’t want your child to go up to it when you are not looking and switch it on. They might end up slipping over from the water if they push it on too quickly. Therefore, to keep it safe, you could consider making a lock for the faucet. This article will help you to easily make one to ensure it’s child-friendly. And remember to get it fixed quickly if there is a problem with your outdoor water spigot. After all, if it’s leaking, it could end up being a hazard for your kid. Therefore, look online to find a company who can do outdoor spigot repair.

Stick to plants which are family-friendly

You need to make sure you get clued up on plants for your garden. After all, you don’t want to get anything which will cause harm to your little one. Unlike adults, they won’t be aware that they should stay away from the plant so could end up getting hurt. For one thing, anything with nettles needs to be a no-no for your backyard. They might run into the plant and then end up with itchy skin. Here are some other plants which might look beautiful, but could pose a risk to your child. That way, you know to avoid them when you are next at the local nursery.

Baby in garden

Pixabay

And make sure that you keep tools and equipment locked in a shed. After all, your little one might end up getting hurt if they get their hands on one of these items!

NAME-STAMP BLOCK Tutorial #FamilyFunMag

Another fun Winter- time craft, make your own NAME-STAMP BLOCK!  Idea courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine!

Great for new spellers—or anyone who likes to make her mark!

stamp-block

What you’ll need
Paper
Craft foam
Craft glue
2-inch wooden block(s)
Stamp pad & notebooks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Write your recipient’s name in 1¼-inch-high block letters on a piece of paper (you can also use a stencil or print out the letters in a font you like at 100 points). Cut out each letter. You can get six characters onto a block, so if she has a short name, fill in any blank spaces with a fun design like a heart or a star; if she has a long name, use two blocks.
  2. Trace two of each letter onto craft foam; cut out.
  3. Stack the letters and glue them together. Then glue each letter to a side of the block backwards. Repeat for all letters.
  4. If desired, package your blocks with a stamp pad and notebooks.

Creative Ways To Teach Your Kid How To Make A Sand Castle

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Kids love to learn new things but a sand castle may prove a bit difficult to learn how to build. If your kids are having a hard time building sand castles and you want to know the secret to building sensational sand structures, you are in the right place. You can take your families sand castle creation to the next level with some simple tips. Going to the beach, down the river or even in your own backyard in a sandpit, is a great way to play and bond. Keep reading if you want to know the secret to building an amazing sand castle.

Why play in the sand?

As children begin to fully understand the physical properties of sand, they have the opportunity to expand their creativity and imaginations through the designs of a variety of buildings, towns, and castles. Once they realize the buildability of the sand, many children investigate the possibility of constructing whole cities and other areas of play. Provide a variety of common and household objects for children to use in combination with their sand creations. Exchange these objects for new ones frequently, and watch as children adapt their creations and become inspired to construct new ones. Many children find working with sand to be relaxing and non-threatening, allowing these children the freedom to express their imaginations in safety and without consequence.

Gather Your Tools

Whether you are down the beach or playing in kids & childrens sandpits, you are going to need the right tools. Tools can make your life so much easier once you start to build your sand castle. Sandpits are great for kids to get creative whenever the feel the need. Having a sandpit out the back encourages creativity and play. When it comes to tools, the most important tool is definitely the shovel. A lightweight shovel is good idea. Shovels with a wooden handle are also great because that are less likely to crack or break under strain. Kids can tend to get excited so you want to ensure their tools are going to last.

However, for your littler kids you probably want to go with a plastic spade. When building sand castles ensure there is enough tools to go around, you don’t want any fights. In addition, don’t forget the buckets! You’ll need at least two, one for carrying water and one for mixing the water and sand together.

Decorations

This part of the building process is an adventure in itself. Ensure you gather plenty of decorations and start gathering decorations before you start building and can continue once you have started building your sand castle. When you have your sand castle, discuss what sorts of things you want to include in, on and around your sand castle. Make a list, for example, if you want a flag for the castle, what materials do you need to construct it?

Kids have a natural longing to play in the sand. It can be a peaceful and therapeutic way for them to relax and play alone or with friends. Sand play is great for skill building and it is important that you invite children to make sand castles and get creative. Provide them with the location and the right tools and watch them explore creative ways of building sand castles.

Fun and Cheap Day Trip Ideas for the Whole Family

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to spend more quality time with their children? In between work and home life, it can seem like an almost impossible task. Then, you have to factor in the budget side of things. Day trips may seem completely out of the question, when you’re running on limited funds. However, there are ways to enjoy quality time with the whole family, that don’t need to cost a fortune or dip into your savings. Here are a few fun and cheap day trip ideas you can try out.

Picnic in the Park
This is one of the best family fun ideas if you’re running low on cash. Putting together a picnic doesn’t cost a lot of money. Especially if you try making most of it yourself. Plus, a day in the park is completely free. Don’t bother forking out for expensive hampers or picnic equipment. You can buy cheap plastic cups and paper plates to eat from. Or just use crockery from home! Grab a blanket and head to your nearest park. This is the perfect day trip for sunny days.

museumImage credit

Museums and Galleries
Did you know that lots of museums and art galleries offer free entry? There are also plenty of vouchers which will give you money off, for those that charge. This is a great way to spend some quality time with your littles ones – and teach them a thing or two. Some younger children may not find this kind of day trip very exciting. Therefore, it’s a good idea to reserve this idea for when they get a little bit older.

Coffee Mornings
If you have a young child or baby, then this is a great idea to get you out of the house. As moms, we can go a little bit stir crazy staying inside all day. Look for local coffee mornings where you can meet like-minded parents. Not only will you get to socialize, but you’ll be spending time with the little one as well. Plus, how much does a cup of coffee cost? Exactly!

Bento Box LunchImage credit

Lunch Date
You may think that a lunch date is reserved solely for girly friends, colleagues and couples. However, there’s nothing wrong with taking your child out on a lunch date! In fact, it will make them feel very grown up. If you’re feeling naughty then grab some fast food to share between you. If you take a look on fastfoodmenuprice.com you’ll see it doesn’t have to cost much. If you would rather avoid the fast food then head to a local cafe, for a healthier treat.

In the Garden
If you really don’t have any change to spare, then you can just get out in the garden instead. Turn it into an adventure that’s almost as fun as a day trip. You can build a fort using old blankets and duvets. Set up a treasure hunt, hiding clues in all the plants. Have a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Or maybe even a water fight. There are so many ideas to keep everyone occupied in the garden. It’s the next best thing to a fun day out.

The next time you feel as though you have to be stuck indoors, because you’re strapped for cash, think again. There are so many ways to spend quality time with your little family. Without remortgaging the house.

Perfect Rainy Day Activity: Melissa & Doug Mess Free Glitter Craft

This summer it feels like it has rained more than it hasn’t.  If your kids are like mine- you need something to do to keep them busy when they can’t be outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  You will definitely want to order some of the new Melissa and Doug Mess Free Glitter Crafts so you have them on hand and ready to go the next time you need something to keep your kids busy.

Check it out!

The Mess Free Glitter crafts are SUPER easy to do.

Step 1:
Pick which one you want to do!  There are several options in each pack.  We got to make posters and Stickers!

Mess Free Glitter CraftsM D Stickers

 

Step 2:
Choose what color glitter you want to start with first and peel the back off.

Step 3:
Select which part of your craft you want to make that color and peel the white sticker off.
melissa and doug Mess free glitter craftStep 4:
Put your glitter sheet over the now exposed sticky surface and RUB.

Step 5: Pull your glitter sheet up and repeat with another area or even a different color until your project is complete!

melissa and doug

Colton and I did this craft together a few times- but he has also mastered this one on his own.  It is very easy and fun… and moms: no messy glitter everywhere!

This mom gives this craft two BIG THUMBS up!

You can purchase any of the Mess Free Glitter Kits right from the Melissa and Doug Website, from Amazon, Target, or Toys R US for around $4.99 each.

melissa and dougDisclosure:  I received free product to test out for review purposes.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.

How to make SLIME!

Looking for a fun thing to do with your kids?  If you have boys– they will DEFINITELY love this one… Make your own SLIME!  This is SUPER Easy and requires ingredients that most people can find around their house.

Ingredients:
Metamucil with Psyllium Husk
Water
Pan
Spoon

For each cup of water, you will need 1 teaspoon of Metamucil.

1 Cup of Water= 1 Teaspoon of Metamucil
6 Cups of Water= 6 Teaspoons of Metamucil

Step 1: Add Water and Metamucil to the Pan and Stir
How to Make SlimeStep 2: Put pan on the Stove and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 Minutes
slime
Step 3:  After 10 Minutes your slime should be nice and slimey.
Tip: If it isn’t slime enough, put it in the fridge.
Tip: If you want to play with it sooner, put it in the fridge.
SlimeThank you to my Sister, who is a daycare teacher for this idea.  She made it with her class :-)

How To Create The Perfect Garden For You And Your Children

gardenimage source

If you and your children are lucky enough to have a garden, you’ll know what a treat it can be. However, gardens need a little shaping and looking after. Without it, they fail into disrepair. It can make for a dangerous and unappealing place for your children. We’re here to help you make the most of your outside space. Even the smallest area provides a huge boost in your children’s enjoyment and learning.

An outdoor space helps children expand their creative skills and imagination. It gives them a whole new world to play out the stories in their head. It’s really important to get the kids away from the TV and into the outside world. Show them that there is something more. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves to help you unlock the best from your garden space.

Tidy up and remove the dangers
If you don’t use the garden very often, the first step is to clear it out and make it a safe place. Remove any old tools lying around. Tidy up all the debris floating about and give it all a good clean. Tidy up any splintered wooden objects. You may need to get yourself some timber to fix a shed or touch up the fence.

 

Create a playing space

 

Once you’ve tidied it all up, it’s time to create a fun space to play in. A lawn is ideal. It lets you children roam free in relative safety. They can use the grass area as a new play space. The grass can be the sea and they’re floating on a pirate ship. Or it could be the moon that they slowly explore! If your children are younger, a sand pit is a great way to help them develop their motor skills. They’ll spend hours sifting sand back and forth and learning key skills. The garden is also a great place to teach them about wildlife and caring for living things. Try planting a small row of flowers and let your children tend to them.

Bring the inside out
For a child, there is something stimulating about seeing familiar things in unfamiliar places. Bring an old sofa outside and you can all rest there at the end of the day. Cushions and beanbags can litter the decking or patio for an evening outside. There are now outdoor TVs you can buy too. Put their favourite Disney film on outside and they’ll be utterly content.

Don’t forget about you
The garden isn’t just for your children. Make sure you have a comfortable space to relax in after a hard day’s work. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a glass of wine on the deck during a warm summer. Set up a small outdoor table and chairs and stay warm with an outdoor heater. Let your body relax and prepare for the next day. Or just take a breather while the kids are at school.

These are just a few of the ideas you can do to your garden. Bring it to life by making it a child friendly, explorer’s paradise. It will help them learn and realize their creative potential. The garden will also help you unwind and give you that vital extra space in the home.

15 Crafty Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy

Keeping kids busy can be hard at times, especially if you’re trying to get on with something of your own. You can guarantee that if you don’t give them anything to do, they’ll follow you around all day and stop you from getting important things done. The following crafty ideas should help to keep your kids busy for more than 5 minutes. In fact, I bet you’d only need to give them a few things from the list to keep them busy all day long!

  1. Bake Some Cupcakes

Kids love cupcakes, and baking is a great way to get them into cooking. You can either buy all of the ingredients separate, or buy a kit where everything is included, including the instructions. You’ll need to supervise during certain parts, but they can usually do a lot of it themselves depending on their age. Decorating them will be their favorite part, after eating them that is.

  1. Ask Them to Choreograph Their Own Dance Routine

Your kids probably have an artist or song that they love, so why not ask them to choreograph their own dance routine? You could give them specifics, like you want them all to be in time with each other and the dance should last for at least a few minutes. This should keep them busy for a good hour or so if they get into it!

  1. Make Paper Mache Animal Heads

They could make paper mache anything, but paper mache animal heads can make great decorations for their rooms or play rooms. Simply mount them on to a fancy piece of card and then on to a wall to create a vintage, shabby chic inspired feel.

  1. Make Loom Bands

Loom bands have been big news over the past few months, and kids everywhere are still making them. If your kids haven’t got in on the act yet, why not get them a kit and show them a few Youtube videos to give them an idea of how to do it? If they already know how, tell them you want a beautiful, unique bracelet to wear. This should make them try a more complicated pattern, and they should be busy for quite some time!

  1. Write a Story

Kids have extremely active imaginations, so encourage them to write a story. It can be about anything they like, and afterwards they can read it to you.


Photograph

  1. Play Games Online

Playing games online can keep your kids occupied for hours, but you need to monitor what they’re doing and ensure they aren’t spending too much time in front of a screen. If you’re worried they might get square eyes, consider printing something out for them instead. My kids love doing logo quizzes, although sometimes they get stuck. That’s when I let them look at things like the bubble logo quiz cheat page with grey dove and blue paw!

  1. Teach Them to Knit/Sew

Knitting and sewing are great skills to have as an adult, so it’ll really help your kids to teach them now. Start them off by sewing a small picture or knitting a small square, before encouraging them to do more complicated tasks.

  1. Make a Mood Board

Taking pictures and words from old newspapers and magazines to make pictures with can be a lot of fun. Encourage your kids to have a theme for their picture, such as a summer garden or princess theme.

  1. Show Them Origami

Kids are fascinated with origami, and they love to create more complicated structures out of a simple piece of paper. There are plenty of patterns online for them to try!

10.   Give Them a Great Book to Read

If your kids don’t like reading, give them a book that they won’t be able to resist. Roald Dahl is always a safe bet, as he usually helps kids to really use their imagination. If your kids love reading, buy them a new book and let them relax somewhere comfortable with it. If my kids are enjoying a book, they’ve been known to finish it in less than a day!

11.  Set Up a Treasure Hunt

Buy some ‘treasure’, and then hide it around the house, telling the kids that you’re going to have a treasure hunt. The ‘treasure’ can be anything, from sweets to a new coloring book. Usually, they’ll be pretty tired after the hunt if you make it difficult enough, and they might even give you a bit of peace by having a nap.

12.   Make Jewelry

Making jewelry is a lot of fun, and you can usually make something with whatever you have to hand. I’ve even helped my kids make bracelets out of old t-shirts!

13.   Paint a Picture

Set up a paint area for your kids, complete with a splash and spill guard. If you want to get them really excited, you could let them paint with their hands!

14.   Make a Fort

Kids love making a little hideaway where they can relax or hide, but this is usually made out of a simple cardboard box. Why not give your kids the tools to make the best fort ever? Give them a variety of boxes in shapes and sizes, plenty of stuff to stick them together, and stuff to decorate. Once they’ve finished, they’ll spend time in there for the rest of the day!

15.   Make an Assault Course

You can do this indoors or outdoors, whichever the weather allows. However, depending on the age of your kids, you may need to supervise so they don’t hurt themselves. Use whatever you have to hand to create the course; brooms, mops, boxes, swing sets, sandpits, pools…you name it! Get creative with a course that will really tire them out, and they should have a nap when they’re done!

I know it isn’t the best feeling to have your kids sat in front of the TV for hours on end, which is why I love using these suggestions to keep my own kids busy. Of course if they’re being particularly grumpy or awkward that day, I just let them watch their favorite film or TV show. Good luck!

Brighten Up Your Garden and Impress Your Children

When it comes to decorating your garden your children might not be your first thought. However there are many ways in which you can decorate your garden to please them and you. Much like home styling there are lots of decoration ideas out there, so whatever you are looking for there will be something to suit you! So if you have children in your home, what can you do to really impress them?

Create a Wildlife Wonderland
One really nice touch for a garden is to create a space where wildlife are encouraged to visit. the great news about his is that it can be created in any garden, no matter how small. In fact, even just a bird table with some seeds and regular bird food can be enough. If you have more space then lots of plants and bushes to encourage wildlife to come and visit can be great – watching them in fascinating.

Somewhere For Them To Play
If you have young children and a garden with plenty of space then somewhere for them to play can be lovely. You can get play equipment at a price that is reasonably affordable. Think about the type of play equipment that they are going to enjoy and have a look at putting this in your garden. If you look after the items you buy then you can often sell them on afterwards to help recoup back some of the cost.

Backyard

Foto Hacker

A Place to Relax
On top of that you’ll want somewhere for you and your children to relax. If you have room for it then a patio area can be a good addition. This can be a simple paved area or something with a BBQ and other additions. Summer evenings are often perfect spent in the garden, so you want to create somewhere that you can do this in comfort.

Make The Most of Technology
What you can also do to impress your kids is make use of technology. Fairy lights around your garden can look really lovely and impressive if they’re put out in the right way. You can also go all out and put something like a TV outdoors. You’ll need to look at items such as an outdoor TV case at thetvshield.com which can help to protect your TV from the elements.  After all, you don’t want your TV getting rained on which is going to do it no good at all.

It is basically about thinking what your children will like and how you can impress them. Here age will make a difference to this too. If you have children aged 12 and over then a play park probably won’t be of much interest to them. However if you have the space and money then they’d probably love a swimming pool. You know your family better than anyone else you are probably in the best position to know what garden additions they are going to love. If you’re really not sure then get them involved and create the perfect garden together.

Crafty Activities for Every Season

Whether you are indulging your inner artist or trying to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day, crafting projects are the answer. They are also a fantastic way to add a personal touch to gifts, parties and decorations. Here’s my rundown of some of the best projects to keep you (and your little ones) occupied all year long.

cRAFTS

Image Source: chrissy.farnan

Spring
With the weather promising sunshine but not quite enough warmth to play in the garden, a few spring-themed crafts can help to keep the kids entertained. If it’s time to give their rooms a spruce up, you can set them to personalizing the furniture while you give the walls a lick of paint. Old wooden furniture looks fantastic painted with hand prints, wobbly butterflies and colored flowers.

If it’s just an afternoon you’re looking to fill, you can always rely on some classics. Remember how to make paper chain dolls? Teach the kids how to make them and let them decorate each, putting them in funny outfits and painting vibrant hairstyles on them. For a bit of a change, you could try making paper chain butterflies or flowers instead. It is very much in keeping with the spring theme and they look great strung up in the kitchen or playroom.

Summer
Summer crafty ideas are all about making your garden (and garden parties) colorful and memorable. Handmade drinks umbrellas, flower arrangements as centerpieces and name labels are all lovely ways to add a crafty touch to a garden gathering.

If you are looking to enhance your tranquil outdoor retreat, you may need to invest a bit more time. Create an eye-catching focal point by removing the backing and glass from a chunky, wooden frame. Secure a colourful souffle dish or ramekin inside and fill it with bird food. Hung from a tree, any guest spotting it from the patio will think you have framed the wildlife – and be suitably impressed!

Autumn
There’s loads to do in the house in autumn. The nights are starting to draw in and everyone’s ready to snuggle by the fire. Make sure the kids don’t forget about the birds outside in the cold and take the opportunity to make some homemade bird feeders. Spreading peanut butter on an old toilet roll or pencil is guaranteed to result in sticky fingers and smiles all round. Roll them in seeds and hang them from a tree in the garden, the kids can then watch the birds feasting on their efforts from the warmth of the house.

Autumn is also a great time for grown-up projects. Quilted blankets look great, add a snuggly feeling to any room and will help keep your family warm over the winter. They are also a fantastic way to make use of any clothes the kids have outgrown or ruined over the course of the year. If you don’t have much time, make your patches large and trim your quilt with a patterned fabric to finish the look.

If you are thinking of hand making your Christmas gifts, now is the time to start planning. Knitted scarves, hats and gloves add a personal touch to everyone’s stockings and mini fruit cakes are a fantastic treat for neighbours and work colleagues.

Painted Pumpkins

Image Source: Denise Krebs

Halloween
Halloween is a holiday for crafting! From the kids’ costumes to seasonal treats, you could spend weeks indulging your creative side if you wanted to. Let the kid’s loose with their new-found paper doll making skills and ask them to create a spooky garland for the fireplace. Cats heads, witch’s hats and pumpkins are all excellent options. Of course, there is the traditional pumpkin lantern to carve. If you want to impress the neighbors, or try something a little bit different, print a template off and craft a masterpiece.

Winter
This season is made for easy craft ideas. With the kids eager to stay indoors, convincing them to help out is no issue at all. If you fancy spending the day crafting, a few different colored felts and some glue are a fantastic way to make seasonal pictures of robins and penguins. If the kids have got a bit more energy to wear off, it might be time to think about indoor games. Blow skiing is really easy to make and fun to play. Best of all? Everyone gets to pick their own colors.

Christmas CraftsImage Source: Jane Levicki

Christmas
Most winter activities are Christmas orientated. This one little holiday sure does dominate the entire season. Luckily, there’s loads of projects you can do for this one. Making gingerbread cookies to decorate the tree is always great fun for the little ones. If you have a young teenager in the house, why not set them the challenge of making a gingerbread house? You can buy ready-made kits now, so they get to do all the fun decorating without any of the awkward planning and baking. If your family aren’t gingerbread lovers, sugar cookies are just as good for decorating the tree. They’re also a little bit paler so you can decorate them with pastel icings for a more delicate look.

Candy cane mice are another easy option for making Christmas decorations, though they look really impressive on the tree (these are my favorites!). Cut out all the mice pieces and let the kids assemble them. Glitter, googly eyes and some funny colored ears mean they can make each one unique and keeps them occupied. A candy cane tail completes the look – and means you can hang them from the tree or a garland easily.

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without paper chains. Cut up strips of wrapping paper for the kids so they can make festive garlands, perfect for decorating their bedrooms. This is a great option for Christmas eve when they need to take their minds off the excitement. Another option is to let them decorate the name labels for the Christmas table. Glitter pens, sticky stars and colored paper guarantee at least an hours break from the exhausting wait for St. Nick.